It’s Friday night and baseball’s trade deadline is Sunday afternoon. That means things are getting tense and heated all around the big leagues. Here’s the latest on what’s happening right now.
Reds and Nationals looking at Bourn
The Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals are both said to be interested in adding Houston Astros outfielder Michael Bourne, but the price is very high. The Reds have zeroed in on Bourne, while the Nationals are eying B.J. Upton and Denard Span as well. Still the Reds think Bourn is a good fit and might be willing to pay a hefty price in exchange for the 28-year-old who isn’t eligible for free agency until after next season. Having already unloaded Hunter Pence (see below) the Astros are no longer in need of adding tons of prospects, so they can afford to drive a hard bargain or just decide to keep Bourn.
Red Sox still want Bedard
The Boston Red Sox are hot on Erik Bedard, who makes his first start since returning from the disabled list Friday night and Boston’s brass will be in attendance. Things have progressed to the point where the Mariners are checking out Boston’s Triple-A affiliate Pawtucket to see their potential targets play. The Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees are all in on Bedard, but the Red Sox have the biggest need for a starter and things appear to be the furthest along with them.
UPDATE: Bedard’s first start back from the disabled list did not really go well. He lasted 1.1 innings, threw 57 pitches and allowed five runs (all earned), three hits, and four walks. Not exactly a great outing for the trade value.
Tigers could send top prospect for Ubaldo Jimenez
The Detroit Tigers are willing to send top prospect Jacob Turner to Colorado in exchange for Ubaldo Jimenez. Turner is a former first round pick and universally rated as one of the top prospects in baseball (No. 13 on Keith Law’s top 50). The 20-year-old has incredible stuff and projects as a top of the rotation guy. If Colorado does indeed want to trade Jimenez, a package including Turner would probably be the best the Rockies could do. Turner could be up at the beginning of 2012, or even possibly this September.
Phillies close to landing Pence (UPDATED)
According to multiple reports, the Philadelphia Phillies are close to acquiring Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves are apparently now looking to jump back into the mix by possibly adding some of their top prospects into the mix and “getting creative” in their push to get the All-Star. The Astros are said to prefer the Braves’ prospects but haven’t been offered the right mix in exchange for Pence.
UPDATE: Pence has been traded to the Phillies in exchange for four players. The Phillies have included their top hitting prospect Jonathan Singleton and top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart, plus two players to be named. The Braves made a late push, but this was Philadelphia’s race to lose apparently. There is still some paperwork to finish but the deal is done.
Rangers, Padres stuck on Bell deal
The Texas Rangers looked all but set to add San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell to their bullpen, but now that deal is stalled. The Padres are apparently not thrilled with the package the Rangers have put together for Bell, even though they don’t expect to receive one of Texas’ top three prospects. Meanwhile, the Phillies and Cardinals would still love to land Bell, but the Rangers appear to be his eventual destination. We think the Padres and Rangers will figure this one out.
Indians looking to do something
Having already added Kosuke Fukudome on Thursday, the Cleveland Indians have their hands in on trade talks with a few teams for some big names. The Indians are talking to the Rockies about Jimenez, the Astros about Pence, the Los Angeles Dodgers about Hiroki Kuroda and the Padres about Ryan Ludwick. Of the three they’re most likely to land Ludwick, who the Padres would love to move and who was with the team from 2003-05. Cleveland seems to be on the outside looking in for both Pence and Jimenez.